My Bitter-Sweet Black Bear Story

by B.R.Yanney
(Athens PA)

As a child I lived in Alaska from 69 untill 1980. All I ever wanted was a moose. I didnt care if it was a cow or a bull.But my father uncles and thier friends once one of them got a moose they where done hunting. They would split it up amongst them-selfs, and back to fishing, which boored me to death! Ice fishing, salmon fishing,fly fishing, clam digging etc. Also my Dad was a very busy man. He was a truck driver. and didnt really have much time off.At one time he used to haul Arctic Cat snowmobiles from Jacksons Hole Wyoming to Anchorage Alaska. He then became a Teamster and it seems we never saw him that much. Anyway, we where moose hunting and a friend of my fathers had gotten’ a big ol’ moose, a cow. As we where packing it out my great uncle Bruce,who is now 85, was coming back from our boat, A 18ft flat bottom smokercraft with a 85 hrs mercury with a jet unit. He saya theres a big ol’ black bear sitten’ up in a cottonwood tree. If you’ve never seen a cottonwood there huge! So we go runnin ‘over there and sure enough There she is just sitten’ there looking down at us, from about 30ft. My uncle Bruce,says she looks kinda sick.He hunted in Alaska before it was even a state,and has more trophy animals than you can imagine, including one huge dall sheep that he got while hunting alone ! He says if you take her you might be doing her a favor. So I take my 300 Interarms mag. and blast one in her chest. She lets out a gut wrenching yowl that haunts me to this day. As shes fallen out of the tree I hear my father” who kinda looked like Elvis by the way” yell reload, reload. Ya’ know in case she was wounded. But she was dead when she hit the ground.As my father was saying allright good job, we hear this little whimper, we look up in the tree and there is this little skin and bones cub.My father said words I never heard him say, he was sick oh my god what have we done ! So my father with trembaling arms and teary eyes takes his trusty 30-06 and does the unthinkable deed, saving me the horrible task and ugly memmory.Down he falls with a sickening little thud. As the kids say now-a-days totall buzz kill.But as we go over to the little fella’ we could see he was wasting away, you could see his ribs, tuffs of his hair where missing, he just looked sick. It was september and bear cubs are usually fat little beasts. So we go back to the momma’ and we could see she had been gut shot ! When we gutted her out she was all green inside, and the smell, oh my Ive never smelled anything that bad before. We couldnt keep the meat, just the hide. So we go back over to the little cub, we are all totally bummed. My father digs a hole and we bury the pore little guy. My father said a little prayer” now we lay you down to sleep we pray your soul for the lord to keep, please forgive us little fella’ you never had a chance” Two tough guys and one 14 year old boy, not a dry eye. As we where carying the hide out to the boat, My uncle and Father reasure me we did her a favor. She and her cub would have died a slow horrible death. That doesnt take away the fact I feal as though I did something really bad.My father had her made into a rug for me. As I type this story she hangs to the left of my computer. Everytime I look at her I think of that little grave, somewhere in Alaska, with her little cub in it. Bitter-sweet. I never did get that moose, oh well some day perhaps.

Comments for My Bitter-Sweet Black Bear Story

Sep 19, 2013 honor
by: Matthew Your Father and Uncle were honorable men and did the right thing also the memory I can tell my grandchildren about

Dec 04, 2011 PS. I never got —
by: B.R.Yanney I never got a Pope and young, or Boone and Crockett buck. Never got a moose , caribu, elk, brown bear, dall sheep etc etc. Oh well lots of good memmories, thats what hunting is all about. That and putting a little extra meat in the freezer !

Dec 01, 2011 Thanks Oliva !
by: B.R.Y. I dont know what to say but thank you. Sometimes you go through life thinking Jeez I never did this I never did that. Hunting is in our family just like it is in your family, and after awhile you just accumulate storys. I spend all my vacation time, all my weekends, all my evenings in the woods. Sometimes neglecting my boys, my personnel life. Iam a hunter but always wanted to be a pro guitar player. That never happened ! So I turned to archery which extends hunting season by 8 week here in PA. 6 before rifle and 2 after.Now with my hands going numb I cant play guitar and cant shoot a bow. So now I hunt with a rifle, and wright my memories on this site and my private diary. Alaska haunts me ! When we moved I was devastated, always wanted to go back, just never happened.My kids and friends get tired of hearing my storys, they just roll thier eyes. lol

Dec 01, 2011 wow…
by: Olivia A You have so many stories…I love them and this one is no exception. I cried when I read it…you were only 14, that’s how old my youngest brother is:) You grew up in Alaska? What haven’t you done?:) And you kept the hide, how cool! Thanks for sharing this one:)

Dec 01, 2011 Dude !
by: Brr Black Harsh Shardes ! As Buckethead would say !
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